Thai Red Shirts Offer Ceasefire To Thai Government

The Thai government has said it will accept a ceasefire offer from a Red Shirt protest leader. There could be a truce on condition that their fighters returned to their camp in central Bangkok, after street battles that killed 37 people raged for a fifth day. The offer came during a telephone conversation between Red Shirt leader Nattawut Saikuwa, who called the government's chief negotiator, Korbsak Sabhavasu, on his mobile phone. It was the first direct talks between the two sides since the fighting started on Thursday. Earlier on Monday, a Thai government ultimatum passed for the estimated 5,000 protesters occupying a barricaded encampment in the city centre to leave. The demand had little apparent effect, and unrest still flared in various parts of the downtown area, with troops firing live ammunition at protesters. Earlier on Monday, Major General Khattiya Sawasdiphol, the so-called military strategist of the Red Shirts, died in hospital after being shot in the head.